Rick Perry Snags Former Pawlenty Web Video Guru

  |  September 21, 2011   |  Comments

A new Perry video is meant to generate buzz before tomorrow's GOP debate.

lucas-baianoTim Pawlenty's former online filmmaker has joined Texas Governor Rick Perry's GOP presidential campaign. Lucas Baiano, once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Governors Association, is now for the second time working with a GOP governor hoping to fill President Obama's seat in the Oval Office. Pawlenty, once the governor of Minnesota, dropped out of the race in August.

A new video from the Perry campaign produced by Baiano (left) is undeniably representative of the style he honed while working with Pawlenty, for whom he created a steady stream of around 20 online-only videos leading up to the Iowa Straw Poll held August 13.

"We're generating some good traction before the debate," said Baiano, regarding the new "Proven Leadership" video. Baiano spoke with ClickZ briefly this afternoon to confirm he is now working with the Perry campaign. The next Republican presidential primary debate will be held tomorrow, sponsored by Fox News and Google. The video has been seen around 1,000 times since launching yesterday; in contrast, a new video from the Obama for America campaign posted early yesterday has been watched more than 81,000 times.

Baiano's handiwork is evident in the new Perry video. The rapid-fire succession of images, rousing orchestral music, and American iconography is all there. But before the musical backdrop shifts to an uplifting swell, scenes of rainy city streets, dreary old factories, and abandoned foreclosed homes flood the screen, interspersed with crude graffiti-like representations of Obama and his campaign logo. Cable news talking heads and anchors remark on the lack of jobs created since the President took office, reinforcing the "President Zero" label Republicans gave Obama following the latest federal jobs report.

Enter Perry, preceded by footage of horse hooves splashing along the shore. Snippets of him and various workers are seen alongside several appearances of The Statue of Liberty, a favorite symbol of Baiano's used countless times in his Pawlenty videos. Like the first video that the filmmaker made for Pawlenty, it features a speech given by the candidate. Perry calls America "the last hope of mankind," and complements rhetoric evoking American exceptionalism with the need to "get America workin' again."

Baiano, in his early 20s, could be credited with injecting some liveliness into the often uninspired candidate campaign video genre. Other GOP hopefuls including Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have displayed particular dedication to producing high quality web videos.

While the filmmaker's identifiable style is a strongpoint, it remains to be seen whether the same approach taken for Pawlenty is appropriate for Perry. Pawlenty was considered a somewhat blasé candidate, and Baiano's action-packed videos were intended to add spark to his arguably bland persona, to give him an edge. Perry, however, is considered a rock star among candidates, even inspiring bikini clad women to produce their own videos about him.


Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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